Albert Boxler, Pinot blanc, AOC Alsace, Niedermorschwihr, Haut-Rhin, Alsace, Grand Est, France, 2003
On pinot blanc
A comment, collated and edited from various sources … at its best it produces medium, tending to full-bodied, crisp (medium (+) to high acidity) dry whites with hints of citrus, apple, pear, melon, stone fruit, floral notes and honey. Normally it is unoaked. With age it takes on honeyed notes.
In Alsace, pinot blanc is not considered a noble variety, lacking the aromatic qualities of the 4 nobles – riesling, gewurztraminer, pinot gris and muscat (muscat blanc a petit grains) precluding its use in grand cru or late harvest wines. It is the workhorse variety of Alsace, mainly used in edelzwicker – blends, and crémant. The main growing area is on the Plain of Alsace.
It is important to understand that in Alsace, pinot blanc is the common term for white wine produced from pinot blanc, auxerrois, pinot gris and pinot noir, in any proportions. Apparently, one is most sure to get a pure pinot blanc if the label states clevner or klevner (not klevener), which are pseudonyms for pinot blanc.
Many wines labelled pinot blanc, but without that variety present, are abundant, many are 100% auxerrois; further examples includes Marcel Deiss of Bergheim who markets a pinot blanc that is made out of auxerrois, pinot gris and pinot noir, boosted by some surmaturation and without a trace of pinot blanc itself. Many are blends with auxerrois, e.g. Schlumberger make one with 30% pinot blanc and 70% auxerrois
This wine: lot No. L20B, varietal pinot blanc, coated natural cork closure, flat-bottomed bottle, 12.5% abv, Gauntleys, bin end £10 (was £19.80) (08/15).
Last tasted 01/09/15
Consumer tasting note: a strong fully developed rich profile of caramelised and stewed orchard fruit, a warm honey underpinning, tinned yellow peach, tropical nuances, fragrant leaf tea and nutty hints; medium-full bodied, with flavours of stewed apple, dried peach and pineapple skin, honey, crushed hazelnut, and dried tropical fruit nuances. Finishes medium-long. Decant for 45 minutes.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, medium intensity gold, showing tears [cork stained to 30-70% of length].
Nose: clean, pronounced intensity, fully developed, with aromas of honey, spice, caramelised stewed apple, stewed pear, a touch savoury, tinned yellow peach, beeswax, pineapple skin, fragrant leaf tea, dried and crystallised pear, nutty hints, and, after some time – a couple of hours, a hint of anise materialises.
Palate: off-dry, medium (+) acidity, medium alcohol and a medium (+) body, a velvety texture with a low-key grip, medium (+) intensity, with flavours of stewed apple edged with crushed hazelnut, pineapple skin, dried peach, honey, hint of preserved lime, indistinct dried tropical fruit nuances, touch of almond oil. A medium (+) length, with a clean honeyed dried stone fruit, edged with tropical nuanced finish, with a light grip.
Quality: very good, perfectly balanced acidity with alcohol and residual sugar, altogether harmonious with the flavour intensity and concentration; strong intensity throughout, with lesser concentration, showing a moderate-high level of complexity with evidence, through the noticeable grip, of extended maceration on the skins and/or some time in neutral or large format not new oak, and of time in bottle with honeyed, crystallised and dried fruit notes. Finishes a sound medium-long.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: drink now, unsuited to further ageing, but will keep for 2-3 years – a sound structure and balance, fully developed, nevertheless there is a slim opportunity to deepen slightly, but not markedly, the honeyed and crystallised fruit dimension.